Selected Reviews for The Doll Hospital

Dr. Pegs, with red pigtails and wide brown eyes, is planning a slow day at the doll hospital, organizing buttons. But that’s before the doorbell rings—one, two, three, four times. First, it’s Portia, a porcelain doll who needs some glue for her arm. Then the “ding-a-ling” announces Scoop, who has a stomachache. And why not? His stuffing is falling out. The next arrival is a baby doll, and in need of help, he can only say moo instead of mommy. The final arrival is a bear in need of a button—he’s lost an eye. Dr. Pegs (who looks like the other round-faced, simply shaped toys) must ring the emergency bell. She needs help! A quintet of Russian nesting dolls, all dressed as nurses, assist in getting the procedures done. The illustrations, made of cut paper, cloth, stuffing, ink, and digital techniques, give a three-dimensional look to the artwork and provide a symmetry of shape and color, primarily reds, greens, buffs, and browns. If a hospital visit can be fun, it’s this one.
~ Ilene Cooper

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School Library Journal
What starts out as a quiet day at the Doll Hospital quickly becomes a hectic one as patient after patient arrives with various problems that need fixing. Doctor Peg (also a doll) begins making her to-do list, which grows quickly, and includes gluing a cracked porcelain arm and restuffing a stuffed dolls stuffing. Soon the good doctor is overwhelmed. But she enlists the help of the Nesting Nurses dolls, who help set everyone to rights, and even find a button for Teddy Bear’s eye. VERDICT: Written in a cumulative manner with bright, colorful digital illustrations rendered in a simple color palette, this is a sweet story that will capture the hearts of little ones with their own favorite dolls. Best shared one-on-one and for small group read-alouds.
–Jessica Marie, Salem Public Library, OR

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Youth Services Book Review
The text from George and illustrations from Gillingham compliment each other well as the simple and fluid words convey the short story and the bright, mixed media pictures engage little listeners.  In particular, this selection of mixed media in the artwork is a fantastic choice as it gives readers the feeling of looking into a world that they could have created themselves with familiar elements such as felt, fabric, and Popsicle sticks.

Kids will find a great role model in the tiny Dr. Pegs as she shows great care with each patient, but also shows herself the same care when she decides to ask for help.  Many stories focus on helping others without showing kids that it’s also good to know your own limits.  With pressure being put on children earlier and earlier to excel in areas from school to social interaction, this presents a fantastic and timely message.

This is a great storytime book for a theme of kindness or community helpers.  Many of the pages present a type of audience interaction that would work well for both large and small groups; “Can you help me make the bell sound here?” or “Let’s count the Nesting Nurses together!” are two great examples.  The length of the book makes this more appealing for ages 2-4.

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Nonna's Corner
Welcome to Nonna’s Corner where I share books I’ve read with my grandchildren, affectionately referred to as the Royals. The Doll Hospital by Kallie George, illustrated by Sara Gillingham introduces us to Dr. Peg at the Doll Hospital. A quiet morning soon becomes anything but as the bell keeps ringing with new patients. Grab an iced tea and check out our thoughts.

Princess Sophia loves to play hospital or doctors office and even has the Doc McStuffin nursery, so I had a feeling she would be excited to read The Doll Hospital by Kallie George and I was right. When the UPS driver delivered it, she grabbed it and hugged the adorable cover while asking if we could read it.

The Doll Hospital located in the attic of a Doll House is where our story takes place. It’s early morning and Dr. Peg is organizing her supplies. In the hospital there are beds for her patients and buttons, thread and needles for surgeries. Dr. Peg has just double checked her to-do-list and finds she only needs to organize the buttons. As soon as she begins the bells ring announcing a patient has arrived. Before you know it, Dr. Peg has a full house and her list is growing. Before she can even beginning something on the list, another patient arrives even a bear. This is a doll hospital, but she will help Teddy too. Princess Sophia loved the colorful illustrations and the different patients and their problems. She sympathized with Dr. Peg and even cried out, “Oh no, another patient!” as I read the words, Ding-A-Ling-A-Ling.

Our favorite part was when Dr. Peg realizing she needs help calls the Nesting Nurses. The illustrations were cute and soon the hospital and patients were set to rights. Princess Sophia liked the nesting dolls so much that I ordered her a set from Amazon. This was a delightful tale, with repetitive words and phrases that made it easy for Princess Sophia to anticipate what would happen next.  Now she can read the book using images and repetition as her guide. This story is perfect for early readers.

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Bookworm for Kids
Stuffed with buttons, fluff and mounds of concern, this tale radiates the joy of helping others.

Dr. Pegs is up with the sun, ready to help any toy in need. What starts as a calm day, quickly fills with all sorts of small emergencies. Even though she's trying her best, there are simply too many patients for Dr. Pegs to handle on her own. Luckily, she has some amazing helpers who can assist her to save the day.

Everything about this book is sweet and warming. Dr. Pegs is a nurse full of duty, joy and readiness to help anyone she can. She's good at what she does too. Her attitude is inspirational as adorable and cuddly patients come in, each with a problem perfectly fitting for dolls and stuffed animals/friends. Fans of playing nurse or hospital are going to love this read as each patient is taken seriously and with sympathy, but still matching to a doll house world. 

This story isn't about an all-saving nurse but shows how important having friends can be too. Even wonderful characters like Dr. Pegs reach their limit on what they can do. And that's what I really love about this tale. She knows when to ask for help and has no trouble admitting it. Team work is just as important as helping others, and it's a great message.

The illustrations are bright without being overly brilliant. The comfortable color tones and style slides right into place with dolls and stuffed animals, allowing the world to come to life. There's a nice mixture of materials and cloth in the pictures, giving it a cozy feel. The text plays right into the illustrations, making it fun to read-a-loud with lots of possibilities of expression and fun. There's simply so much to enjoy and cuddle into with this read.

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Homegrown Reader Blogspot

A perfect reminder of how I should strive to deal with adversity and the ever-wise advice that it doesn’t hurt to ask for help. The book does a great job of exhibiting how to make a list. Have your little ones guess what will be added to the list next. Because there is a lovely amount of repetition in the book, it’s great for emerging readers. Have your little one help finish sentences or guess what’s going to be said next. Make your own peg dolls to accompany the story using: pegs, pipe cleaners, yarn, felt, buttons, and of course your imagination!

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Children's Bookshelf

The Doll Hospital written by Kallie George and illustrated by Sara Gillingham is a warm and reassuring story about a visit to a special hospital just for dolls... The illustrations are as charming as the story. Young readers will want to hug each of the four small patients who look all cuddly and in need of help. The adorable pictures are fashioned in gum drop colors of lemon yellow, strawberry pink, minty green and lip-smacking orange. The Doll Hospital written by Kallie George and illustrated by Sara Gillingham is a gentle story about going to the hospital for some tender loving care and repair. It is perfect for children 3-7 years of age.

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New York Times

Every child imagines their toys can talk — or more, that their toys are sentient, with lives all their own. “The Doll Hospital,” by, with pictures by @saragillinghamstudio, is a book that feels like the imaginings of a child. The premise is simple: the heroine is Dr. Pegs, and she tends to other injured dolls inside the titular hospital. “Sometimes a picture book conjures the feeling of playing so strongly, you almost forget it's just a reading experience, and that's definitely the case with this one,” said our children’s books editor, Maria Russo. “There’s always something magical yet homey about a book about a doll.”

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Kids’ BookBuzz

Ellie, age seven, has agreed to help me review The Doll Hospital by Kallie George and Sara Gillingham. Her review is as stated: “I really like this book! It was about nurses who were dolls. The dolls take care of other toys. That’s why I like this book so much! One day I want to be a nurse and take care of others just like Dr. Pegs does! I could read this book over and over. I liked the story, and the pictures were so cute.” Ellie is a very compassionate little girl, so it doesn’t surprise me that she would want to be a nurse and help other people, like she stated about Dr. Pegs doing for the dolls in her hospital. Dr. Pegs even bent her own rules about dolls only and helped another kind of toy! This book had a Doc McStuffin’s (child’s show on Disney) feel to it that I, as the adult reading it, say would appeals to almost any younger child, girl or boy, who finds satisfaction in helping others. Plus it helps with their self-esteem, knowing they can ask for help whenever they may need.